REUTERS - Following are major decisions by almost 200 nations at U.N. meeting on climate change in Doha, Qatar, November 26 to December 7:
The conference agreed to an eight-year extension to 2020 of the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding U.N. pact for combating global warming.
It now obliges about 35 industrialised countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by an average of at least 5.2 percent below 1990 levels during the period 2008-12. Nations will pick their own targets for 2020.
But backers of Kyoto will dwindle from 2013 to a group including the European Union, Australia, Ukraine, Switzerland and Norway. Together they account for less than 15 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions.
Others of the original Kyoto group — Russia, Japan and Canada — are pulling out, saying that it is time for big emerging economies led by China and India to join in setting targets for limiting their surging emissions.
The United States signed but never ratified Kyoto, arguing that it would cost U.S. jobs and wrongly omitted goals for developing nations. Developing nations have insisted on keeping Kyoto as a sign that rich nations are leading.
Under Saturday’s extension, there will be a possibility for tightening targets in 2014. The European Union, for instance, has promised cuts of at least 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
Countries laid out a timetable for working on a new global deal, due to be agreed in 2015 and to enter into force from 2020 that would apply to all nations. Kyoto now only sets targets for industrialised nations.
Negotiations would be split into two “work streams” - one looking at actions to combat climate change from 2020 and another to look into how to step up ambition before 2020.
They agreed to hold a first session of talks from April 29 to May 2, 2013, in Bonn, Germany, perhaps another in September 2013, and at least two sessions in 2014 and two in 2015.
The talks are named the “Durban Platform” after the South African city that hosted talks last year where the new push for a global deal from 2020 was decided.
The conference stopped short of obliging developed nations, facing austerity at home, to give a timetable about how they would achieve a promised tenfold increase in aid to $100 billion a year by 2020.
The text “encourages developed country parties to further increase their efforts to provide resources of at least to the average annual level of the (2010-12) period for 2013-15.” It would extend work on identifying new sources of funds by another year.
Developed nations agreed at a summit in 2009 to give developing nations $10 billion a year in aid to help them adapt to a changing climate for 2010-12. They also set a separate goal of $100 billion for 2020 but did not say what would happen from 2013-19.
The meeting agreed ways to address rising losses for developing countries from the impacts of climate change, ranging from droughts to a gradual rise in sea levels.
It decided to set up new arrangements to address loss and damage, including perhaps a new international mechanism at a next meeting in 2013. The text includes no promise of new cash.
Delegates said that the United States was the most adamant that any new project would not be in addition to a $100 billion funds promised from 2020 to help the poor.
With additional reporting by Andrew Allan, Ben Garside, Daniel Fineren, Stian Reklev,; Editing by Stephen Powell